House Bill 4237 sponsored by Rep. Joey Andrews (D-St.Joseph) will receive testimony on Thursday in the House Labor Committee. This legislation would allow local governmental units to regulate businesses in all forms, such as operations, hiring practices, wages/benefits, and training/qualifications.
Currently, the State of Michigan has regulatory authority over employer-employee relations of nonpublic employers, preventing a patchwork of employment-related mandates.
“This legislation would create inconsistency, confusion, and bureaucratic red tape,” said Marcus Keech, Director of Government Affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Giving Michigan’s 1,800-plus units of government the power to regulate things that belong at the state or federal level, like wages, strikes, employee schedules, benefits, and more, would be a nightmare for our business environments.”
“Employers will be left with the burdensome responsibility to track regulatory policies in each county, city, village, township and educational institution they interact with or do business in,” continued Keech. “This will be a particularly painful burden for smaller businesses, which drive our economy.”
“The Grand Rapids Chamber is vehemently opposed to this legislation and will continue to advocate on members’ behalf to create an economic environment where all members can thrive,” said Rick Baker, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “The regulatory environment directly impacts the ability of entrepreneurs and job creators to succeed. This legislation undermines Michigan’s competitiveness and needs to be stopped.”
Some, but not all, of the actions that will become allowable regulatory acts of local governments if this bill is accepted include:
- Require employers to pay a higher wage than the state minimum hourly wage.
- Regulate work stoppage or strike activity and by what means employees can organize.
- Require employers to pay prevailing wages and benefits.
- Require employers to provide paid or unpaid leave time.
- Regulate hours and scheduling of an employee.
- Requirement for employer or employees to participate in additional non-state required educational apprenticeship or training programs.
- Require employers to provide an unlimited amount of unspecified fringe benefits at the expense of the employer.
- Create local government administrative or judicial remedies for varying disputes.
The Chamber plans to testify in opposition to this legislation in House Labor Committee on Thursday.